Bob Short’s report on behalf of Creekside’s elders for the annual meeting, January 28, 2024
“I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:14-21)
As with Paul, the elders at Creekside are praying for our congregation, with a great desire to see us growing together in the knowledge of God and the love of Christ. What a blessing it has been to see God at work in a variety of ways, and it is our prayer that He would be glorified in us as we worship, pray, and fellowship together in the year to come! Our prayer is that each of us will seek direction in how God might work within us, by His power and for His glory!
Teaching and Discipleship
In 2023 we finished our study of Ephesians on Sunday mornings, took up the book of 1 Samuel, and embarked on our study of the book of Romans, learning about the good news God offers this world. Wednesday small group Bible studies were in Romans, Job, and the Gospel of John.
Pastor Steve continues to mentor a group of young men called the Timothy Team, building leaders of future generations.
During the summer months, the Timothy Team (along with Doug Elrick) held a series of Wednesday evening presentations and discussions on what we believe about The Word of God, Church Leadership, The Nature of Man, and Christ and Salvation.
One new Small Group was started this year as well, which is an encouragement to the elders!
We were able to hold a couple of “Get to Know Us” classes in 2023, and have been seeking to get better acquainted with a number of new folks who have been joining us for Christian fellowship. Several individuals and families have joined the membership at Creekside Church, committing to serve together with us! “We are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.” (1 Corinthians 3:9) It has been a joy to get to know more believers and enjoy fellowship together.
We were encouraged last August when two individuals expressed the desire to be baptized and to publicly identify themselves as disciples of Jesus Christ.
In March, we were very happy to support Pastor Steve Smith on a short-term mission trip to India with Anand Darla. They traveled to multiple towns in India, preaching in local churches and engaging in public evangelism.
In November, a team of ten individuals went on a short-term mission trip to Haiti, where they served in the gospel, and ministered to many practical needs.
2023 brought a share of difficulty as well, with one of our supported missionaries getting into a difficult situation that caused much sorrow and conflict. However, one bright spot emerged when people from several Liberian churches in the Des Moines area, as well as some former protestors, came to Creekside Church to join in a Service of Unity. We worshiped God together and prayed for the individuals, communities, and ministries impacted by the events. God’s purposes and plans are always for good to those who love Him, and we are at rest knowing He will accomplish His purposes, while laboring to know what our role will be in that.
“Christ in you, the hope of glory… we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ. For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.” (Colossians 1:27b-29)
We were once again able to host our regular Easter Egg Hunt in 2023, with a strong turnout having fellowship, hearing the gospel of Jesus’ resurrection, and hunting plastic eggs. We also held our July 4th picnic and fireworks watch, with a number of individuals from the community joining our celebration.
Be assured that each of you is being prayed for by your elder team, and we desire to see each individual “strengthened with all power according to the riches of God’s glory… to walk according to the calling to which we have been called.” (Ephesians 3:16, 4:1)
If you would like the elders to pray with you regarding a particular need, please let one of us know, and we will arrange for two or more elders to pray with you. “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.” (James 5:13-15)
God’s blessings to you in 2024!